HC Deb 29 October 1906 vol 163 cc690-1
SIR JOHN RANDLES (Cumberland, Cockermouth)

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether any, and, if so, what steps were taken to insure that the Government of Newfoundland should be informed as to the terms of the modus vivendi with the United States of America recently concluded prior to their acceptance; and on what date the first information of a definite character was conveyed to the Colony from the Colonial Office or other official sources.


The decision of His Majesty's Government that a modus vivendi was necessary, and their intention to make proposals to the United States Government for such an arrangement were communicated to the Colonial Government by telegram some days before the United States Government were informed. In the same telegram the Colonial Government were asked to give their views as to the form which the modus vivendi should take. No proposals were actually made to the United States Government until the reply of the Colonial Government had been received. Throughout the negotiations the Colonial Government were kept fully and promptly apprised by telegram; and His Majesty's Government answered no communication from the United States Government without first consulting the Colonial Government and endeavouring to obtain their concurrence. The note from the United States Ambassador ratifying the arrangement embodied in the previous correspondence was telegraphed verbatim to the Government on the same date as it was written and received—viz., the 6th inst.


Then did not the Government succeed in obtaining the concurrence of the Colonial Government?


I said the other day we had not been fortunate enough to do so.

LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)

When will Papers be laid?


Perhaps the noble Lord will address that Question to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.